Sphenomandibular ligament

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 05 Oct 2020

The sphenomandibular ligament is one of the two extrinsic ligaments of the mandible, the other being the stylomandibular ligament.

The sphenomandibular ligament descends from the spine of the sphenoid bone onto the medial surface of the mandibular ramus, attaching to the lingula. It is the primary passive support of the mandible, along with the muscles of mastication.


It is pierced by the nerve to mylohyoid. The auriculotemporal nerve and inferior alveolar vessels pass between it and the neck of the mandible.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: TMJ (Gray's anatomy)
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